the preschool diaries: transition completed?

On Friday, Jonah had his first full day, 8:30-3. It took some convincing for him to stay there without me. The bells helped. Anyone who has been in a Montessori preschool will recognize these bells. I am curious myself as to why these are THE bells. Is there something special about the shape?

His teacher Wendy plays them while singing songs during circle time. Which makes them extra cool.

We were the first to arrive that morning, so it also helped that I waited until the second kid made an entrance before making my exit.

When I returned to pick him up at 3pm, he was in the playground, apparently just at that moment checking to see if I was in the Pirate Ship play structure. Or having a Pavlovian response to hearing the lock giggle in the side gate. (I infer these things because he and the teacher made a beeline for me as I walked in, chatting about me, the gate, and the Pirate Ship.)

The afternoon teacher informed me that he did indeed nap. I have yet to check the log book to see how long said nap was but any sleep procured by anyone, especially in a new environment like that, is definitely a gold-star achievement.

The longer-day kids were all having snack at the picnic table in the yard, so we stayed for a while and he picked at the leftovers in his bento box.

* * *

Friday to Tuesday seemed like it would be an eternity to me. Why was I only doing three days a week again? All that work adjusting and…

But by this morning I think we were all ready for him to go back.

Almost all of us anyway.

In the car, on the drive over, Jonah informed me that in fact he does NOT like preschool.

“No preschool. No FRIENDS in preschool. Chandelle is NOT there. Chandelle is NOT nice. You want MOMMY to go to preschool WITHYOU.”

When we arrived, as I was getting him out of his carseat, he tried playing his last card, “How about let’s go to YOGA CLASS?” (In the past, his car monologue on the way to mom-toddler yoga class has been “NO YOGA” in repetition, whining tone, ad nauseum, so you know he was really trying to get out of preschool if that was his alternate suggestion.)

He protested again at the bottom of the stairs. “NO PRESCHOOL.”

“How about we just go up the stairs?” I asked.

At the top, I opened the door for him, “You go inside, I’m just going to put your lunch in your cubby and then I will come in.”

And he trotted right through the door like it was nothing at all.

We were the second ones there (I don’t know what’s up with other parents; if we’re paying for 8:30 to 3, we’re getting there at 8:30). I came in and stood in the coat nook, chatting with Chandelle while Jonah and Alexander (an amazingly gentle and outgoing kid who has been super friendly to Jonah since our very first visit back in December, showing him the ropes) played with play doh.

And then Jonah asked for the bells again I helped him set them up in a row, and then gathered my things. He began to play.

“Okay Jonah, Mommy’s leaving. Say ‘Bye-bye.'”

“Bye, Bye,” he said, without looking up or pausing. I gave him a kiss, a thumbs up to Chandelle, and exited.

4 comments for “the preschool diaries: transition completed?

  1. January 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    So glad that it is going so well. I hope it continues to do so. It was always hard on me when I left and they didn’t seem to care. Though it is for the best as they are comfortable and confident in themselves and in you.

  2. January 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I know! I miss him terribly, I hate being somewhat replaced. But I’m glad he seems to be happy there — and I have gotten so much done today!

  3. January 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Good news! I love those pictures. He looks like such a maestro.

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